Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adoption of Christian: Update!

Almost 2 years ago now, on our March 2011 trip, I met a young boy in Asikuma named Christian.
Throughout the remainder of the trip God kept ‘bugging’ my heart about this boy, and as I soon found out, Christian was an orphan and had a very sad past of abuse and abandonment. Yet, what captured me about him was that in spite of his hard life, he had a light-hearted smile and an engaging spirit about him. Every time I was around him I felt God whispering to my heart that I should take action on his situation and find a way to help him. Once we got home from the trip, I decided to start with the obvious option of seeing if Christian was eligible for adoption, and go from there. As God would have it, over the next 6 months the social welfare investigation was completed on Christian, and he was indeed available to be adopted!

You can read the main posts I’ve written on Christian from our first meeting through his adoption process by following these links:

March 22, 2011: (The first day I met Christian) My Experience in the Schoolyard
March 23, 2011: The Boy Named Christian
May 2, 2011: The Boy Named Christian – Update!
May 13, 2011: Adoption Update Regarding Christian!
June 3, 2011: The One who Heals the Blind
August 23, 2011: Familiar Faces
June 7th, 2012: For the Boy Named Christian ~ Please
July 3, 2012: Christian’s GRACE fund: VICTORY!!!!!

At the same time that the social welfare investigations were going on to get Christian on the adoption track, God began hinting around to the U.S. family that He would eventually lead to adopt Christian.  He began whispering that He had another child for them. And when I say ANOTHER, I mean another! We’re not talking a family of 5. Or 6. Or 7. Or 8. We’re talking this….

Did you count? That’s right, the Litzke’s from Ohio have 15 children – 13 adopted from various countries….and they obeyed the Lord’s prodding and stepped up to adopt Christian, which will make him the 16th addition to their family!!! I previously introduced you to the Litzke’s here. Just a few months ago in October, Momma Litzke ~ Mandy ~ traveled to Ghana to meet her son Christian for the first time, and also used that trip to complete the next step of the adoption - filing their I-600 form with the Embassy in Ghana. Since October was also the month that our girls ended up coming home, my blogging was a little sporadic, and I never got to share the sweet moments of Christian getting to MEET HIS MOTHER! I mean seriously. Just saying that puts a lump in my throat. The joy in my heart of knowing that Christian is going to have a FOREVER family that lavishes him in love, and teaches him about Jesus is seriously one of the coolest outcomes I’ve ever been a part of in my life. I’ve grabbed all of Mandy’s photos and posts off Facebook that she wrote during her Ghana trip to meet Christian and I’m sharing them below. I know you’ll be able to feel the JOY of the moments!!!! [Mandy’s husband stayed back with their other kids during the Oct trip, but he will be the one to travel and bring Christian home once the adoption is completed. One of Mandy’s friends, Sarah, was starting a travel agency specifically geared towards missions, so she accompanied Mandy on this trip to Ghana to gain insights on starting her business.]

Mandy’s trip in her words (except for a few of my inserts denoted in italics).....

October 9th, 2012
WE JUST MET CHRISTIAN!!!! Spent the entire evening with him. Can I just say---THANK YOU LORD. What an incredible, sweet, kind-hearted, gentle boy. After hugging me for 5 min and then again another 5 he smiled and said..."I AM SO EXCITED TO MEET YOU!" (And it was all in the dark--no electricity. LOL I am bursting from the seams with joy and rejoicing tonight.

Christian and Mom's first day together (pic taken literally in the dark w flashlights and candles! What a memory tonight will always be!)
October 10th, 2012:
Another huge thanks to all our friends and prayer warriors. You bless US! It's been another great day. Time is short this evening and internet is limited. I-600 aapointment went smooth and quick--answer to prayer. (NOW we pray SHORT duration for approval and on to visa!) We were met at the door by Christian who just about knocked me over with his huge, gigantic hugs! We took Christian to eat (boy after my own heart--loves CHOCOLATE). Christian read his letters from his brothers and sisters and he smiled with joy! He just keeps saying "I am so excited and happy to meet you" We also met with one of our local facilitators and her beautiful 4 foster children and shared some fun items donated and picked up for them. Their smiles truly make you melt. Definitely will be leaving another piece of my heart in Ghana with our new friends.

October 11th, 2012:
Another full day! Starting backwards---Christian got to skype with a few of his new siblings and it was indeed a treat and a treasure. He is so excited to meet them all!

Visited a children’s home. This family giving their lives so selflessly to care for 12 children in addition to their own when they barely have enough for themselves. YET, his words to me before we had an amazing time of prayer together—“God will always make a way when our hearts are true, He is faithful and we have His joy.” Their needs are so great yet their hearts so full! (Sweet time for Christian as he reunited with a friend).

From there we had lunch and were off to visit Christian’s school (the school he attends now while living with his foster family) and meet his teacher (Head Master-such a humble man of God) and the wonderful couple (Pastor and his wife) that started the school after feeling God was leading them to do so. Visited with the children and the teachers and ended in another anointed time of prayer with Pastor Lee. Their desire is to gather computers to enable the children maximum access of educational resources and opportunity. Next to knowing Jesus---EDUCATION is the key for hope of better life and provision for the future. And in addition they have purchased land to open a school especially for the special needs and truly “forgotten children”. Full day filled with an array of emotions. We visit Christian’s birth village tomorrow. Covet prayers.

OH-IO. A new fan is born!
The next day they visited Asikuma (Christian’s ‘hometown’) but Mandy’s update did not go through b/c of internet issues. We had really been covering this day in prayer, because Christian had not been back to Asikuma for almost a year. You may remember that he is in foster care with our Ghanaian friends, Nana and Esi, who live closer to the capital of Ghana – Accra. Having been removed from Asikuma for quite some time, we weren’t sure how his emotions would hold up of being reminded of the heartache and memories that Asikuma holds for him. However, Christian endured, and was distracted enough by introducing his mother to his old friends and the places he used to frequent each day. Some pictures from this day…

Christian with his cousin who he calls his ‘brother’. Christian lived with this cousin and his aunt (who has disabling health issues making it complicated for her to work and provide) for quite some time when he was in Asikuma.

Visiting Christian’s old school that he attended in Asikuma. In the background of this first picture is the schoolyard where I first met Christian – they are literally almost standing at the very spot where he first caught my attention!


Walking through the village of Asikuma…  
Oct 13th, 2012:
Today we visited the Arts Center (Market) and picked up a few items as keepsakes and experienced "THE" African market. From there saw a friend from the States and said some goodbyes to new friends in Ghana. Christian is becoming more and more familiar and honestly, it feels he has always been part of the family. :-) He is such a gentlemen. Always opening doors for me and looking out for me. Love the experience and of course spending time with our son...but mama's ready to get home. MISSING home and family. Continue to lift us up in prayer. Saying goodbye to Christian on Monday will be so difficult. Must remind ourselves that it's for only a short time. Now we return home, wait for final paperwork and visa appt. Then, Dad will return to bring our boy HOME. Prayers please as we fundraise for return trip. It's sad here---such a community stricken with poverty, but expensive. One additional praise--we have seen fruit from seeds planted in lives around us. That is such a treasure for God to allow us to see.

October 14th, 2012:
An evening walk on the gulf. (Last request in Ghana...and our gracious driver made it happen-thank u Samson)

Yep we threw in a horse ride (I'll tell you ALL about being chased by the horse another time ;-)

Gulf of Guinea- beautiful sunset from this evening
October 14th, 2012:
Asking for prayer- tomorrow is our goodbyes and Christian has already told me he will be "missing mama so bad and crying". It will be one of the hardest things I've ever done leaving him here. You all will absolutely LOVE him. Now for some ice cream together. (Yes- comfort food and fun)

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

Hopefully you were able to catch some glimpses of Mandy’s character and Christian’s personality through those posts of their meeting! And now, for some exciting news since that trip!!!! Earlier this month the Litzke’s received their I-600 approval, which means they are now onto the final step of the adoption which is the visa process!!!! WHOOP WHOOP! And just this week I received news from Mandy that their visa interview has been scheduled for NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!! Once they get through the interview portion, a date will be set for Christian’s visa to be printed and then they can make their travel plans to bring him HOME! Many of you have previously been a part of the Litzke’s adoption journey of Christian by donating towards the cost of their adoption fees via his GRACE fund. The Litzke’s have fundraised the entire portion of what they’ve paid on the adoption so far (thanks to many of you!), and God has been so faithful to provide as they trusted He would. In the event that you feel led to donate towards the finish of this adoption, the Litzke’s are in need of funding the costs of their upcoming travel expenses to bring Christian home. If you would like to help in any way, here are the remaining costs they are looking at:
  • $150 foster care fees for February
  • $2500 in estimated flight tickets [for Dave (Mandy’s husband) who will travel to Ghana and Christian’s ONE-WAY ticket home]
  • $100-$125 per night for hotel stay in Ghana (minimum -they think of 3 nights—but of course could turn into longer)
  • miscellaneous expenses for food, driver, etc while in-country
Donations can be made out directly to the Litzke’s and mailed to their home address:

Mandy Litzke
10944 Darby Blvd. W.
Plain City, OH 43064



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